Zak Brown "optimistic" on 2021 rules meeting, but warns McLaren could quit F1


Though the fate of the sport and its participants will not be sealed at this week's meeting between F1, the FIA and the ten teams currently contesting the world championship, we should, certainly by the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, have a much better idea of where the various parties stand.

The technical and sporting rules are one thing, and already a number of teams have expressed their 'unease', however it is F1's plans for a total overhaul of the financial side of things where the fun and games should really begin.

In terms of a budget cap, Max Mosley tried and failed, yet somehow Ross Brawn and his colleagues believe they can get it right.

Then, other than the scrapping, or serious reduction of the various bonuses, there is the little matter of the prize pot.

While the big guns have admitted that they might accept a more level playing field, others are looking for total parity.

"Once it is levelled, that should accelerate everyone's competitiveness," McLaren boss, Zak Brown tells the Observer, the American citing NFL as a good example.

"F1 has had dominant periods," he adds, "but a great F1 is no one dominates any more. It might mean a team winning two championships on the trot, not five or six."

Looking ahead to Tuesday's meeting, and the package that will be put forward, he says: "For McLaren it has to tick two boxes; to be financially viable and to be able to fight fairly and competitively.

"If it wasn't that, we would seriously have to consider our position in F1," he warns, a 'threat' made previously, albeit for different reasons, by Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull and Renault. "That's not a position we want to be in.

"People throw it out there as a negotiating tactic but this has to be a fiscally responsible, competitive racing team," he continues, "and, if we feel the new rules don't put us in that situation, we would have to review our participation in F1.

"Revenue distribution should be more balanced, should be performance oriented," he insists. "To a lesser degree than today there should be recognition for your history. We all agree Ferrari is the biggest name and should be remunerated as such but not at the level that it is and you also should not be able to put that money into the racing.

"I am optimistic that everyone will participate," he says of the meeting. "There will be fireworks between now and then, it's negotiation but I am optimistic F1 will do the right things and sign up all ten teams and we will have a much better, more competitive F1 from 2021 onwards."

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Published: 24/03/2019
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